120 Minutes Playlist Statistics

For over 15 years, from 1986 to 2003, MTV’s 120 Minutes was the most visible showcase for new and alternative music in the mainstream media. The two-hour time slot was terrible, starting at midnight on Sunday nights, but in the pre-Web days, you had to make sacrifices to find out about new music.

Altmusictv.com is trying to compile complete playlists from the 120 Minutes archives, which is interesting in its own right. Photographer David Hirmes e-mailed me earlier today with some analysis he did on the playlists. Below is a table of every band that appeared on 120 Minutes more than once, sorted by the number of videos/performances.

It looks like the playlists started getting more and more repetitive, starting in the late ’90s… When the playlist archive is more complete, I’ll try to chart the trend by breaking down the number of unique artists per year.

Artist/Band Total Appearances
Oasis 24
Radiohead 23
Beck 19
Garbage 19
PJ Harvey 15
Rancid 13
Blur 12
Primus 12
Tori Amos 12
Beastie Boys 11
Depeche Mode 11
Morcheeba 11
Spoon 11
Bush 10
Cake 10
Everclear 10
Goo Goo Dolls 10
Green Day 10
Marilyn Manson 10
Smashing Pumpkins 10
The Verve 10
Beth Orton 9
Coldplay 9
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion 9
Korn 9
Marcy Playground 9
Remy Zero 9
Rob Zombie 9
Silverchair 9
Sugar Ray 9
Supergrass 9
Bjork 8
Blind Melon 8
Folk Implosion 8
Hole 8
Liz Phair 8
Local H 8
Semisonic 8
The Cure 8
The Offspring 8
Afghan Whigs 7
Ash 7
Better Than Ezra 7
Elastica 7
Everlast 7
Faith No More 7
Fatboy Slim 7
Foo Fighters 7
Girls Against Boys 7
Interpol 7
Kid Rock 7
Limp Bizkit 7
MxPx 7
Nine Inch Nails 7
Sonic Youth 7
Stereophonics 7
White Stripes 7
311 6
Alanis Morissette 6
B.R.M.C. 6
Ben Folds Five 6
Blink 182 6
Charlatans UK 6
Clinic 6
Deftones 6
Guided By Voices 6
Hot Hot Heat 6
Moby 6
No Doubt 6
Orgy 6
Pete Yorn 6
Sarah McLachlan 6
Soul Asylum 6
Soul Coughing 6
Stabbing Westward 6
Superchunk 6
Veruca Salt 6
Chemical Brothers 5
Cornershop 5
Embrace 5
Filter 5
Fiona Apple 5
Flaming Lips 5
Frank Black 5
Hepcat 5
Monster Magnet 5
Piebald 5
Pulp 5
R.E.M. 5
Reel Big Fish 5
Rocket From The Crypt 5
Shawn Mullins 5
Tegan and Sara 5
The Avalanches 5
The Cardigans 5
The Charlatans 5
The Crystal Method 5
The Datsuns 5
The Flaming Lips 5
The Flys 5
The Hives 5
The Shins 5
Aimee Mann 4
Basement Jaxx 4
Ben Kweller 4
Beulah 4
Black Grape 4
Breeders 4
Buffalo Tom 4
Catherine Wheel 4
Cato Salsa Experience 4
Citizen King 4
CIV 4
Eagle-Eye Cherry 4
Eels 4
Fastball 4
For Squirrels 4
Gomez 4
Harvey Danger 4
Heather Nova 4
Howie Beck 4
Jane’s Addiction 4
Jawbreaker 4
Jeff Buckley 4
Johnny Cash 4
Liars 4
Lit 4
Marvolous 3 4
Matthew Sweet 4
Mull Historical Society 4
New Order 4
Nirvana 4
Our Lady Peace 4
Pearl Jam 4
Pixies 4
Placebo 4
Presidents Of The USA 4
Ramones 4
Red Hot Chili Peppers 4
Red Hot Chilli Peppers 4
REM 4
Rollins Band 4
Ruby 4
Rufus Wainwright 4
Ryan Adams 4
Social Distortion 4
Starsailor 4
Sublime 4
The Breeders 4
The Cranberries 4
The Dandy Warhols 4
The New Pornographers 4
The Strokes 4
The Verve Pipe 4
Tin Star 4
Touch And Go 4
Travis 4
Tripping Daisy 4
Urge Overkill 4
Wilco 4
XTC 4
Zebrahead 4
12 Rounds 3
3 Colours Red 3
Adam Green 3
Apples In Stereo 3
Artificial Joy Club 3
Bad Religion 3
Badly Drawn Boy 3
Barenaked Ladies 3
Buccaneer featuring Rancid 3
Buckonine 3
Butthole Surfers 3
Candy Butchers 3
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies 3
Citizen Cope 3
Cousteau 3
Dandy Warhols 3
Doves 3
Edwyn Collins 3
Elvis Costello 3
Eve 6 3
Fountains Of Wayne 3
French Kicks 3
Goldfinger 3
Hum 3
Iggy Pop 3
Jamiroquai 3
Josh Rouse 3
Kinky 3
Knapsack 3
Kottonmouth Kings 3
K’s Choice 3
Lambchop 3
LEN 3
Lenny Kravitz 3
Lo Fidelity Allstars 3
Love and Rockets 3
Mansun 3
Massive Attack 3
Meat Puppets 3
Midnight Oil 3
Mint Royale 3
Money Mark 3
Morphine 3
Mr. Mirainga 3
Neil Finn 3
OK Go 3
One Line Drawing 3
Ours 3
Poe 3
Pretty Girls Make Graves 3
Prick 3
Rage Against The Machine 3
Robbie Williams 3
Sixpence None The Richer 3
Sloan 3
Smash Mouth 3
Sondre Lerche 3
Spacehog 3
Sparklehorse 3
Spiritualized 3
Spring Heeled Jack USA 3
Spy 3
Squirrel Nut Zippers 3
Stardust 3
Starlight Mints 3
Summercamp 3
Supersuckers 3
Taxiride 3
The Amazing Royal Crowns 3
The Catheters 3
The Elms 3
The International Noise Conspiracy 3
The Living End 3
The Mooney Suzuki 3
The Music 3
The Smiths 3
The Sugarcubes 3
The Sundays 3
The Walkmen 3
The White Stripes 3
Thievery Corporation 3
Toadies 3
Tool 3
UNKLE 3
Unwritten Law 3
Vast 3
Yeah Yeah Yeahs 3
“10,000 Maniacs” 2
Air 2
Ani DiFranco 2
Babes In Toyland 2
Bad Brains 2
Baz Luhrmann 2
Belle And Sebastian 2
Belly 2
Ben Harper 2
Bernard Butler 2
Big Audio Dynamite 2
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy 2
Bijou Phillips 2
Blondie 2
Brad 2
Buckcherry 2
Cold 2
Cowboy Junkies 2
Cracker 2
Creed 2
Crystal Method 2
Daft Punk 2
Dance Hall Crashers 2
Dashboard Confessional 2
David Garza 2
Death In Vegas 2
Descendents 2
Devo 2
Dishwalla 2
DJ Shadow 2
Echo and the Bunnymen 2
Econoline Crush 2
Electric Six 2
Eminem 2
Eric Matthews 2
Everything 2
Figdish 2
Firewater 2
Fischerspooner 2
Flightcrank 2
Freestylers 2
Fuel 2
Fun Lovin’ Criminals 2
Gene Loves Jezebel 2
Geraldine Fibbers 2
Gorillaz 2
Green Apple Quick Step 2
Groove Armada 2
Helium 2
Howie Day 2
Hurricane #1 2
Imperial Teen 2
James 2
Jesus and Mary Chain 2
Jimmy Eat World 2
Joan Osbourne 2
Kenna 2
Kent 2
Longwave 2
Looper 2
Lou Reed 2
Loud Lucy 2
Luna 2
Luscious Jackson 2
ManBREAK 2
Marion 2
Maroon 5 2
Mephiskapheles 2
Meredith Brooks 2
Mighty Mighty Bostones 2
Mike Ness 2
Ministry 2
Mogwai 2
Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper 2
Moldy Peaches 2
Morrissey 2
My Vitriol 2
Nada Surf 2
New Radicals 2
Nitzer Ebb 2
Ozomatli 2
Pale 3 2
Pavement 2
Phantom Planet 2
Philip Steir featuring Steppenwolf 2
Powder 2
Primal Scream 2
Psychedelic Furs 2
Public Image Limited 2
Radish 2
Rentals 2
Rhett Miller 2
Richard Ashcroft 2
Ride 2
Rustic Overtones 2
Sahara Hotnights 2
Salt 2
Saves The Day 2
Seaweed 2
Shades Apart 2
Shudder To Think 2
Sigur Ros 2
Sinead O’Connor 2
Sisters Of Mercy 2
Skunk Anasie 2
Sleater-Kinney 2
Smoking Popes 2
Sneaker Pimps 2
Sponge 2
Spring Heeled Jack 2
Sprung Monkey 2
Squirell Nut Zippers 2
Steve Wynn 2
Strokes 2
Super Furry Animals 2
Talking Heads 2
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 2
Texas 2
The Bogmen 2
The Charlatans UK 2
The Chemical Brothers 2
The Church 2
The Clash 2
The Cult 2
The Geraldine Fibbers 2
The Housemartins 2
The Libertines 2
The Pixies 2
The Raveonettes 2
The Specials 2
The Stranglers 2
The Streets 2
The Vines 2
The Wiseguys 2
The Young Gods 2
Therapy? 2
U2 2
Ursula Rucker 2
Walkmen 2
World Party 2

23 thoughts on “120 Minutes Playlist Statistics

  1. Nice chart, BTW you need to combine Pixes and The Pixies. There may be more “The” problems, but that’s the one that caught my eye.

  2. Peter Murphy, Should the World Fail to Fall Apart era, was on 120 minutes. I can add a few more later tonight if you are interested.

  3. I don’t have any playlists. I just have bunches of artists who were featured at some point and whose appearance moved me to purchase their music.

  4. Wow. I remember as a kid watching 120 minutes, and thinking the bands seemed so non-mainstream and alternative. But now, looking at the list, it’s a like a who’s-who of great bands. In fact the list looks pretty mainstream. Man, what the hell was mainstream on MTV back then?

  5. This is a great start, the list is definitely weighted toward the later period of 120 minutes as Andy has already indicated. I wish I still had access to the occasional tape that I made in its early years. Prior to (and possibly concurrent with) 120 minutes wasn’t there also a short “alternative” program Post Modern MTV or was it MTV Post Modern?

    Also, in terms of de-duping the list:

    Red Hot Chili Peppers,

    Red Hot Chilli Peppers

    (these two were next to each other)

    and,

    REM,

    R.E.M

    (these two were spread apart)

  6. Another interesting study would be to trend the top 20 in CD sales and see how much (or little) lag there was from the 120 minute debut to becoming a major-selling CD. So many of the bands listed became mainstreamm favorites.

  7. Wow, nearly every band i listen to is listed. I wish i knew that such a show existed, and I would have watched it…

  8. Damn, those were the good old days. I can’t remember the last time I saw Radiohead on MTV. Seems like it’s mostly rappers these days.

    Where has the real music gone?

  9. I found 120 Minutes in the early ’90s and had to have a friend tape it for me (I didn’t have cable until I got to college). So I still have a few shows on tape floating around somewhere. I vividly remember a show with John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, plugging his latest PiL CD.

  10. Thanks for the link, Andy. I just sent them the playlists from the few I had recorded from spring 2000. Luckily, I had recorded the metadata in MSWorks at the time.

  11. Neds Atomic Dustbin appears to sadly be missing, they were on a bunch. Teenage Fanclub, Aztec Camera, Havana 3am… truly the greatest show of the early 90’s – we used to tape it to re-watch it for weeks. Big ups to Dave Kendall, sadly missed on Sunday nights.

  12. I have many 120 minutes taped on VHS from College 1994 – 1997. I can dig them up if there is interest.

    Ishu

  13. I have a bunch of 120 mins shows complete on dvd. from the 1991-1995 era. I would love to get some more, if anybody wants to trade, please email me ASAP

    thanks

    brian

  14. Hey I don’t know how active this forum is but i am interested in any shows from 92-96. cheers everyone.

  15. Don’t trade 120 Minutes episodes with

    Brian Yersky

    815 N. 2nd Street

    Suite 109

    Brighton, MI 48116

    I set up a 120 Minutes trade with Brian in February 2007!

    I mailed him 6 DVD-R’s.

    (120 Minutes episodes with a couple of custom discs)

    Claimed he mailed my 120 minutes episode requests with Delivery Confirmation, and I never received the code numbers, nor the DVDs

    It is now March of 2010… and still NO DISCS.

    (We set this trade up late Janurary, early February 2007)

    I don’t appreciate dishonest people.

    I hope this message will keep people from wasting their time like I did.

    Peter (Plarocks)

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